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Trustees Approve Proclamation Outlining Priorities for Special Session

The Belton ISD Board of Trustees held a joint special meeting with trustees from Temple ISD on September 26. At the meeting, both boards unanimously approved a proclamation outlining their priorities for lawmakers ahead of the third special session. 


“This is a historic event. Neighboring districts standing together for the greater good for all students in the state of Texas,” Board President Manuel Alcozer said in a statement. “This is a sign of solidarity in a time when public education is under constant scrutiny and attack. Let this exemplify what can be accomplished when we all come together for a common purpose. The time has come for us to be heard.”


“We are taking this significant step because we want our lawmakers to have a very clear understanding of what is most important to the communities they represent,” Chris Flor, BISD Board vice president, said. 


The priorities for the third special session for the 88th Legislature outlined in the proclamation are: 

1. Oppose the diversion of funds for K-12 public schools, including new funds for school vouchers, tax credits, or charter school programs, until the State of Texas funds public schools above the national average;

2. Advocate for the establishment of a fair, transparent, and comprehensive accountability system that looks beyond high-stakes multiple-choice exams to meaningful assessments that have value for students, parents, teachers, and community stakeholders with advance notice of implementation;

3. Raise the basic allotment to account for the increase in overall educational services to students, additional funding for special education programming, staff pay increases, and fully fund the implementation of state-mandated school safety standards. 


BISD leaders have been addressing their opposition to vouchers, the need to increase the basic allotment and concerns about the flawed accountability system with lawmakers for months. Trustees and staff met with lawmakers throughout the Legislative Session. 


“This proclamation aligns with the priorities we adopted in October 2022 and advocated for last spring,” said Flor. “We do not support vouchers in any form. We want the accountability system to be significantly improved, and we ask that the state increase the basic allotment so we can give teachers and staff pay raises. This proclamation means we will continue to work with our elected officials if legislation aligns with these priorities.”


September 26, 2023